Each year a team of people (all volunteers) put together an amazing experience based on one thing: running in the winter. No kidding. Borgess Run Camp is run by Blaine Lam, Chris Lampen-Crowell and Janeen Dosca (among many others on the advisory council). These folks give their time to help oversee a large team of leaders who help beginning runners and experienced runners get ready for the “Borgess Run for the Health of It” and the new Kalamazoo Marathon.
What makes Run Camp so awesome – besides Blaine’s humor and Chris’ exuberance – is the camaraderie this huge group made up of mostly strangers ends up with at the end of the training. Runners suffer through the snowdrifts, sleet, cold and early mornings so they can eventually complete something many have never done before: a 5K, a half-marathon or a full 26.2 mile marathon. Run Camp has spawned friendships, relationships and running groups over the years. It’s pretty awesome!
Each year Run Camp has a new focus and motto. This year is “Changes.” From the website:
Borgess Run Camp is a life-changing experience. But it’s your life to change. You do the work. You get the credit. You experience the satisfaction.
A dedicated group of coaches – which includes several Kalamazoo area physicians and physical therapists as well as other experienced runners – will help make sure you run healthy. From there, a group of team leaders help runners of every pace find their groove and get through the training. You get to have clinics put on by the doctors and coaches, plus you get to have refreshments after the Saturday morning runs. No, those refreshments are not nachos and beer. But sometimes a group will go out for breakfast and treats after a good run!
Other fun parts to Run Camp include photos each week taken by Camp photographer, Bobbie Lam. She’s always on the course catching the smiles, waves and jumps of these crazy runners.
At the end of Run Camp you get to have the chance to run in the Borgess Run for the Health of It or Kalamazoo Marathon. A lot of people have never ran a race, and it’s always a huge turnout for race day.
It’s about $75 for Run Camp, and training schedules vary depending on which program you join. Marathon Camp is underway, but there’s still time for the 5K trainers! You can also consider “Weight Changers” that begins in January if you want to try to lose weight with a community of supporters.
Check out the Borgess Run Camp website for details on the different programs. And get ready to make some Changes in your life! ~Dan Moyle – Run Camp Survivor and Contributing Writer